This section is based on our notes of conversations over the years with our Grandmaster Carlos Navarro. We ourselves are subject to error and the material is presented as oral history within the Black Eagle tradition. Other teachers and schools will have their own traditions and recollections which may not be the same as ours. We are interested in learning about and understanding these differences. In order to come closer to the truth of our common history students of all styles will need to listen with an open but critical mind to the diverse recollections of the older generation. It is in this spirit that we share these recollections.
Taught Olipio Navarro his style of Eskrima de Avanico. Oman also taught Artemio Paez, who was one of the teachers of Grandmaster Filemon Caburnary of Lapunti Eskrima (also called Arnis de Avanico) and Epping Atillo's father (Carlos Navarro's friend and sparring partner). Oman lived in Tisa near neighboring Punta Princesa and Labangon and taught people from these three areas (thus the origin of the name La- pun-ti). Oman died on Negros where he moved after accepting an offer of land and cattle in return for teaching his art to the three sons of an extremely wealthy landowner.
A Senior member of the Saavedra clan. Taught his nephew Teodoro Saavedra, Momoy and Eulogio Canete and Venancio Bacon (The founder of Balintawak). Lorenzo was a small old man who lived in Mambaling. He helped organise the Labangon fencing club in the 1920's and was a member of the original Doce Pares club, founded on the 11th of January, 1932.
A senior member of the Saavedra clan. Nephew of Lorenzo "Tatay Ensong" Saavedra.Taught Momoy and Eulogio Canete and Venancio Bacon (The founder of Balintawak). He was the vice-president of the original Doce-Pares club when it was founded on the 11th January, 1932. Teodoro Saavedra was executed by the Japanese Kempetai (military police) in Basak Elementary school during the occupation of the Philippines.
Training partner and friend of Carlos Navarro. Taught by Lorenzo "Tatay Ensong" Saavedra & Teodoro "Doring" Saavedra of the Saavedra clan. He was the president of the Doce-Pares eskrima club at the time of its founding.
For more information on the founding members, please see the Doce Pares Records. Kindly provided by Steven Drape.
Training partner and Teach of Filemon Caburnay. Taught by Lorenzo "Tatay Ensong" Saavedra & Teodoro "Doring" Saavedra of the Saavedra clan.
Please see San Miguel Eskrima for more information on Filemon Canete, and the style he later developed.
Founder of the Balintawak style of Eskrima. Student of Lorenzo and Teodoro Saavedra. He reportedly stood at 5" 2' and weighed 135 lbs.
Reportedly Half-portuguese, although Navarro is a
Spanish name. Learned martial arts from his father. Taught both his son Olipio Navarro and his grandson Carlos Navarro his style called
'Eskrima de Llave'. Mariano trained with and was friends with Bantong. When Carlos
Navarro was a small boy he would carry the weapons for Mariano when he would practice with Bantong in lonely
places. These weapons includes sticks which were 2 edged (practice swords), 3 edged, 4
edged and round.
Trained Mariano Navarro, usually secretly and very often by moonlight. Bantong lived in the mountains of Gindarohan near Minglanilia. He was strong man who had a very powerful vertical downward stroke with a long heavy weapon. He reportedly defeated Doring Saavedra (whom Carlos also saw practice as a boy) in an actual fight. Bantong used a long heavy stick with powerful vertical strokes which Mariano was able to penetrate with his Eskrima de Llave (the key). The name of Bantong does not come up often in the history of various eskrima styles. This is perhaps due to his secretive and selective training.
Training partner and good friend of Carlos Navarro. Currently the resident Grandmaster of the Black Eagle school in Cebu City. Epping Atillo was taught by his father and Artemio Paez . He is now in his late eighties. It is not clear whether Epping Atillo is related to any of the Atillo names in the Balintawak school. Indeed, the Atillo name has been connected with Balintawak for 40 years.
Was the friend and training partner of Eulogio Canete and also of Epping
Atillo. Learnt eskrima de Avanico his father Olipio Navarro, and
learnt Eskrima de Llave from his grandfather Mariano Navarro.
The founder of Lapunti Arnis de Abanico. Caburnay was a student and training partner of Momoy Canete, and he left Doce Pares to form Lapunti later on. He was also a student of Artemio Paez. Filemon Caburnay was also the teacher of Larry Alquezar, who is one of the main teachers of Grandmaster Abner Pasa, the warrior system of Eskrima.
Please see the History
of Lapunti Arnis de Abanico for more information on this style of
One of the teachers of Grandmaster Filemon Caburnay (Founder of Lapunti). He was the friend and training partner of Olipio Navarro. Learnt Eskrima de Avanico from Oman. Also taught Epping Atillo. Artemio also took up the task of continuing Carlos Navarros training after his fathers' death in 1952.
Father of Grandmaster Carlos Navarro, son of Mariano Navarro. Reputedly a thrusting specialist, he learnt Arnis de Avanico from Oman, and learnt Eskrima de Llave from Mariano Navarro. He was the good friend and training partner of Artemio Paez.
Teacher of both Eulogio Canete and of Doring Saavedra. Eslao lived in Basil (sometimes pronounced Pasil) and was a close friend and sparring partner of Oman. He was known as Islao Pito'y Sagang (pito meaning 7, sagang meaning blocking). Some said his style was called Literada or Riterada
Learnt Eskrima de avanico from Oman, and taught his son, Epping Atillo.
Mariano reportedly learnt much of his martial arts from his father. When Carlos trained with his grandfather, Mariano and many other Eskrimadors of the time (such as Oman, Bantong and Lorenzo Saavedra) were already old men. Mariano and his father can then be placed well into the late 1800's, still during the time of Spanish occupation. It is the presence of the Spanish at the time that explains the assimilation of European fencing techniques that was prevalent in the eskrima of the time. It is still not clear who Mariano Navarro learnt Eskrima de Llave from.
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